American Sweepstakes

"American Sweepstakes is a delightful look back at the first big-time lottery in the United States a half century ago. With the eye of both a historian and an expert story-teller, Kevin Flynn recounts all the passion, controversy and long-forgotten innocence surrounding the New Hampshire Lottery. Flynn does a superb job of making all his characters come alive -- from the ambitious politicians, to the winning ticketholders, to the moralizing naysayers, to even the galloping racehorses! In an entertaining way, Flynn recalls an important time in America, including the Kennedy era of the 1960s. You can bet on enjoying American Sweepstakes." - Thomas Maier, author Masters of Sex

"Thousands of people play the lottery every day in one of 43 states with a legal sweepstakes, pinning their hopes and dreams on a series of numbers. It's doubtful that few, if any, know the story behind the first modern lottery that made their desires possible... the unearthed tale tells of how the state of New Hampshire created a sweepstakes in 1964 as a way to raise funds for education and avoid enacting a sales tax. Flynn found that the first 20th-century lottery stemmed from an unlikely alliance between the state's first Democratic governor in more than 40 years, a celebrated FBI agent, a state representative, and a conservative newspaper that published opposition from the Catholic Church, the U.S. Justice Department, Post Office, and the press. Flynn weaves an engaging story of the New Hampshire Sweepstakes. While historians may lament the lack of footnotes, this work appears to be well researched." - Library Journal

"The short, colorful history of the drive to enact the Sweepstakes is the subject of Kevin Flynn’s entertaining book, American Sweepstakes...Flynn chronicles it all. Like a good news writer, he gets the details without getting bogged down, taking us breezily through the first running of the Sweeps and its short history."- Valley News

"The story had conflict, characters, and best of all, it hadn’t been fully told before...but it's an important story." - the Hippo Press

"The politics of countercurrents held sway for a boisterous decade as New Hampshire led (some say infected) 43 other states to government-run lotteries...Enter Laurence Pickett, mayor of Keene in 1952, a charismatic public servant...Pickett knew how to stage a drama. Kevin Flynn knows how to prime his page-turning book."- The Keene Sentinel

"An entertaining read, this book tells the story of the inception of the New Hampshire Lottery in the 1960s....The story is rather dramtiatic, with twists, turns, and memorable characters." - NH Historical Society